Grandmother 'amazed' by new drug trial
PUBLISHED: 11:27 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 21:38 31 May 2010
A WOMAN who has battled with leukaemia for almost 10 years says she feels fitter than ever after taking part in a new-drug trail. Grandmother Anne Gough, 64, from Clavering said the results from the new treatment had been absolutely amazing and she wa
A WOMAN who has battled with leukaemia for almost 10 years says she feels "fitter than ever" after taking part in a new-drug trail.
Grandmother Anne Gough, 64, from Clavering said the results from the new treatment had been "absolutely amazing" and she was now looking forward to spending more time with her grandchildren.
"It means everything to me to have been involved with the trial," said Mrs Gough. "It has improved my life and hopefully the new drug will help to improve the lives of others."
Recently released figures show that by adding a drug called rituximab to chemotherapy, people with the most common form of leukaemia almost double their chance of achieving a complete remission, compared to those treated with chemotherapy alone.
"I happened to get ill at the right time and at the right place," said Mrs Gough. "I was invited to take part in the trial in July 2004 when I went in for chemotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge. After discussing it with my husband, Barry, we decided I should be involved.
"Fifty per cent of people on the trial were given the drug and 50 per cent were not - I was one of the lucky ones who got to try the new treatment."
The trial involved having chemotherapy for three days once every four weeks. On one of the days, rituximab would also be taken with the chemotherapy.
Professor Andrew Pettitt, consultant haematologist at Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: "These results represent a significant advance, and will change the way we approach the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
"The goals of the treatment are to shrink the disease to the point where we cannot detect it, and to maximise the length of time before the cancer returns."
Mrs Gough discovered she had the disease almost 10 years ago after a routine blood test. After chemotherapy the leukaemia went into remission but returned in 2004.
Although Mrs Gough realises that the disease could come back again she said it has already been in remission for longer than the first time.
A Clavering resident for 42 years, Mrs Gough is an active member of the Clavering Horticultural Society. She has two daughters and four granddaughters who all live locally.